THE MIDDLE SCHOOL
A beautiful world to experiment in
(VII – IX class)
Around the age of twelve years important changes begin to occur in the human being that is entering into puberty. During this phase children want to know the laws of the world and at the same time understand the laws and the reasoning behind he phenomena. In a child of this age the capacity for independent judgment is being formulated and to help the child progress with his or her development. Teaching stimulates hope and a healthy desire to achieve a greater level personal evolution.
For these reasons in addition to the subjects that continue to be taught from the time the child starts their education in elementary school, scientific subjects and technology studies take on an increasing level of importance. During this time the phenomenological and experiential approach takes on an important and central role.
The study of algebra, chemistry and biology is followed with the study of economics, geometry, geography, astronomy, geology, history, art history, literature and languages. Learning with a high importance placed on intellectual value is accompanied by experiences with greater artistic and craft value.
A high level of importance is also placed upon the linguistic musical trend (music, eurythmy, acting, theatre workshops etc.) and also manual work, for example carpentry and technology.
In the morning lessons begin with laboratory, artistic and craft experiences that serve the purpose, in addition to specific leaning, to prepare a child for the day ahead in the most intellectual and logical way possible. The goal is to help the child see the beauty in finding out the meaning of things, to inspire them to discover the elements that determine ones education and the practice that leads to thinking and reasoning and on the one hand, and the realisation of work on the other – culminating with everything going in the same direction.
Using this method we are able to understand how art, beauty and finding our the meaning of things are decisive elements in the art of education in the individual as a whole. We can also determine that the exercise of art and craft guides the child to not only realise and complete a body of work but to also appreciate its beauty. This creates harmony in a child and a greater disposition to face the most logical and intellectual teachings throughout the day.
Educational excursions are also an integral part of learning. Excursions allow for a deeper level of learning, it is a moment in which children are able to deepen some didactic disciplines such as astronomy and art, physics and nutrition. It is important that children are allowed to live their own social experiences, strengthening their autonomy on the one had and collaboration and synergy on the other.
An important moment of the middle school experience is theatre. During the eighth year a theatrical work is presented giving the possibility to bring together the didactic subjects reinforcing the abilities of the students to investigate on great themes and strengthen their own abilities and talents. The recital that is completed during the eighth grade is putting into practice the didactic work of history, literature, music, arts, and technique. The children are required to assemble the scenography and sew their own costumes, thus, integrating all the skills and abilities acquired during the cycle of the middle school.